"AEU Department"

About: Russells Hall Hospital

My husband went blind in the left eye on our way for a GP appointment. Our GP assesed him and wrote a letter for us to take to AEU wanted to phone an ambulance but I (wife) drove us there. Arriving around 1130. GP suspected a minor stroke and bleeding included in the letter. The department was being run by junior doctors! I witnessed many things in the 7/8 hours we waited before eventually seeing a consultant! Who then felt a ct scan was urgently needed! Need I go on? I shall be writing to the Medical DIrector with my concerns. I Will add my husband has been battling Leukemia since 2011 undergoing chemo and underwent astem cell transplant in January 2013. Still not out of the woods. I am sure the Consultant in hematology at Russell hall who battled for my husband to keep him alive and the Professor at the QE who have both worked hard to keep my husband alive would be disgusted at his treatment in AEU.

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Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you, Maria, for taking the time to let us know about your husband’s experience of our hospital. We aim to offer the highest standards of care and we are very sorry if you feel we did not achieve this on the day of your husband’s visit. It must be particularly disheartening for someone who has already been through so much. We offer a 24 hour stroke service at Russells Hall Hospital. A stroke or minor stroke is treated as a medical emergency and what should happen is for an ambulance to be called to bring the patient directly to our Accident and Emergency Department. The ambulance crew or GP would bleep our specialist stroke nurses so they can be waiting in A&E to receive the ambulance. The specialist stroke nurse would assess the patient and if a stroke is suspected the patient would be admitted directly to the acute stroke ward where they would receive the most appropriate treatment for the best outcome. From your description of your visit, we are not entirely clear which part of our hospital you visited. We think you may have been referred to either our Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU) or our Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) unit. EAU is an inpatient assessment area and the AEC is for walking patients who are well enough to sit while they wait for treatment. When arriving at either of these areas, patients are triaged by an appropriately trained nurse to assess their condition. Bloods, swabs and observations are taken and ECGs are completed if needed. Patients in the AEC are seen in the order they arrived. However, if a patient is thought to be too unwell to sit in the AEC unit, they would be transferred immediately to EAU. We are surprised you feel the department was being run by junior doctors. Our front door services are consultant led and we have consultants on the floor seven days a week. Junior doctors do work in the emergency department to support our senior decision making doctors, consultants and nurses who are all appropriately skilled to treat patients. Without knowing more detail and reviewing your husband’s case notes to confirm the area he visited, and the treatment he received, it is difficult to comment further. Matron Kaye Sheppard would be very happy to meet with you both to investigate your concerns. If you would like to do this, please contact Kaye on (01384) 456111 extension 2244. In the meantime, we would like to wish your husband all the best for his ongoing treatment.

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